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6. Love the Lord

1Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Jehovah your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it; 2that thou mightest fear Jehovah thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. 3Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as Jehovah, the God of thy fathers, hath promised unto thee, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 4Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: 5and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; 7and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.

10And it shall be, when Jehovah thy God shall bring thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee, great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, 11and houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and cisterns hewn out, which thou hewedst not, vineyards and olive-trees, which thou plantedst not, and thou shalt eat and be full; 12then beware lest thou forget Jehovah, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 13Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy God; and him shalt thou serve, and shalt swear by his name. 14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples that are round about you; 15for Jehovah thy God in the midst of thee is a jealous God; lest the anger of Jehovah thy God be kindled against thee, and he destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

16Ye shall not tempt Jehovah your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. 17Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of Jehovah your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 18And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of Jehovah; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, 19to thrust out all thine enemies from before thee, as Jehovah hath spoken.

20When thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which Jehovah our God hath commanded you? 21then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and Jehovah brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; 22and Jehovah showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his house, before our eyes; 23and he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. 24And Jehovah commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Jehovah our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day. 25And it shall be righteousness unto us, if we observe to do all this commandment before Jehovah our God, as he hath commanded us.

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20. And when thy son asketh thee. The sole point which Moses urges in these verses is, that the people should testify their gratitude by obeying the Law, and that the same religion,232232     Addition in Fr., “qu’il a apprinse de Dieu;” which they have learnt of God. which he commands the fathers to teach, should descend to their posterity. The sum is, that there was good reason why all the precepts of the Law should be observed, since by them it was that God desired His people, after their deliverance, to shew forth their sense of His loving-kindness. Again, therefore, in this passage, he commends the Law by reminding them of their redemption, that the people might more willingly and more earnestly reverence it; for its authority has stronger claims upon them, because it was not imposed before God had laid them under obligation to Himself; and it would have been too base and absurd in them to refuse God as their Lawgiver, when they knew that by Him they had been purchased to Himself. In the next place He reminds them that for the same object they had been constituted the heirs of the land of Canaan, that they should honor God as the author of this special favor; thus he concludes that they are bound by a two-fold tie, for God had devoted them to Himself not once only, but had confirmed His dominion over them by their continued possession of the land. But there is nothing inconsistent in his saying that the land was promised by oath to their fathers before the Law was given; for, although God bestowed this gift gratuitously, yet did He justly claim the testimony of their gratitude; just as now-a-days, although He invites us to the hope of an eternal inheritance of His own free bounty, yet the end of our calling is, that we on our part should celebrate His glory all our life long. When in verse 24 he uses the words “to fear the Lord our God,” he briefly defines the sum of the Law; for it would not suffice for us to perform whatever is there commanded, unless our obedience had reference to the fear and worship of God. Integrity and uprightness, indeed, give God delight; but none will say that men’s life is duly ordered, if, whilst they exercise equity one towards another, they defraud God of His right. But it is well known that legitimate honor and worship are comprehended under the name of fear. Just afterwards, he commends the Law on account of its profitableness; for God provided for their own good, in delivering to them the rule of a just and pious life. In these words he intimates that they would be doubly ungrateful if they rejected what God meant for their own advantage. For this expression, “for our good,” is equivalent to saying that God not only had respect and care for His own rights in enacting the Law, but at the same time regarded what would be useful to them; and this he more clearly states in the next verse, where he says that “this shall be their righteousness if they observe” the Law; otherwise, that the rule of a righteous life, which would please God, was prescribed to them, than which nothing better could be desired. But it will be elsewhere shewn at greater length how the keeping of the Law is in itself righteousness, and yet that no man is justified by the Law; for, that the Law brings only wrath and condemnation, does not arise from any defect or faultiness in its doctrine, but must be imputed to our own guilt, as being far removed, nay, aliens from the righteousness233233     La doctrine. — Fr. which it contains.




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